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Story Collective

Now is your chance to tell your own story about how you use Medicaid to keep you and your family healthy.



Cortina never thought that anything could knock her down until she contracted COVID in 2021. Cortina says that COVID kicked her in the butt! As a result of complications of COVID, and other medical conditions, Cortina was found to be disabled in June of last year. She is receiving SSI (Supplemental Security Income) Disability which allows her to receive Medicaid. Before receiving disability, she was receiving Medicaid along with Temporary Assistance for Needy Families also known as TANF. When her children reached the age where they were no longer receiving Medicaid, she continued to receive Medicaid under Arkansas’ Medicaid Expansion Program known as AR Home. 

Cortina suffers from the residuals of Ischemic strokes, seizures, diabetes, and hypertension. She uses a pre-loaded insulin pen and injects herself daily for her diabetes, however the Ischemic Strokes often leave her with weakness on her left side, which subjects her to frequent falls. COVID and seizures attacked Cortina. In 2021 she learned that she was suffering from seizures and at the same time she contracted COVID. Cortina was taken by ambulance to the hospital.  She was in the hospital for more than a week. All she knew was that she wanted to go home and each time she spoke with her mother, she told her mother that she was coming home.  Her mother had to call the hospital and asked them to watch Cortina to ensure she did not leave the hospital.  Cortina was on oxygen and needed it for simple things like going to the bathroom. She says that COVID brought her down and changed her entire life. Fortunately, she bounced back, but not without lasting complications such as breathing problems and fatigue. During our interview, she stated that she was sitting with her eyes closed because she was fighting to stay awake.  

Cortina sees a provider at the local community health center as needed. Medications such as Gabapentin and Tylenol cause her to be drowsy during the day. She tries to perform tasks such as washing dishes and light sweeping. Most of her day is spent in her recliner, and by the afternoon she is out of it and must nap.  This occurs daily. Cortina does not have a Personal Care Aide, but she has applied for her daughter to become her aide.  She is awaiting a decision on this. 

Cortina makes sure that she gets all of her required paperwork into DHS. She responds to all requests for information. Life without Medicaid would be a disaster for Cortina.  Her small SSI check is not enough to pay for medications and doctor’s visits to her specialist and primary care physician.  Cortina is a fighter, but she realizes that her ability to fight is limited due to her medical condition.   As a COVOD survivor, she realizes that one day you can be doing fine and the next day fighting for your life.  Medicaid allows her to continue the fight and receive the medical treatment that she needs.  COVID was the fight of her life, but warriors such as Cortina keep marching and continue to fight.  She may be low on ammunition, but equipped with the weapon of survival. 



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